Helping Hand Scheme

Helping Hand is an award winning scheme empowering the holder to discreetly and directly advise of any assistance they may require. The card can be particularly helpful for customers with hidden disabilities.

Helping Hand is administered by Brighton & Hove Buses and available at the following companies:

The card holds a brief written instruction for the driver that can be shown upon boarding the bus. The driver is made aware of the customer's needs or requirements without the customer having to verbally communicate it.

Read Becky and Graham's story, who are both Helping Hand card users, here.

The service user led scheme is now being used off the bus as well as - in taxis, shops and leisure establishments like the cinema.

For example, "Please face me I lip read" can help anywhere at any time.

Some examples:

  • For the customer that may need time to find a seat in priority seating before the driver pulls away. This is very helpful for customers with hidden disabilities.
  • This card is helpful for customers who have extra special requirements such as a pushchair with oxygen or other medical equipment being carried.
  • For passengers who may wish to discreetly advise a staff member of a medical condition; helping to make them feel more confident when travelling.
  • This card is particularly helpful for customers with hidden disabilities. This has helped to advise the driver, although some customers have also advised fellow travellers by using the card.
  • For buses without audio and visual announcements, this card is really helpful for blind or visually impaired customers to be advised of their stop.

We provide further examples on the application form, although we will discuss with you personally your requirements, and create bespoke designs on request.

The reverse of the card can display, if required, the customer's name and emergency contact number. This is optional, but it can offer assurance and instil confidence, that if needed, someone they know can be called upon for help. This is especially relevant for customers living with epilepsy, Alzheimer's or dementia.

How to apply for a Helping Hand card

Applying is easy by clicking here or by ringing 01273 886200 where one of our customer service advisors will be happy to help.

Helping Hand was designed by those people who use the services provided by the charities listed below. They directly influenced the final colour, overall design and - of course - the wording on the cards.

We spoke to them directly.

We owe a great debt of gratitude to the following organisations - without whom the award-winning Helping Hand would not exist.

Grace Eyre

Action on Hearing Loss

Possability People

Also a very special mention to Matthew Battams who joined us for work experience in 2015 and 2016 and now works with us part time. Mathew, who has autism, had the inspired idea to add the emergency number section.

The Helping Hand scheme is a Go-Ahead Group initiative and within the Brighton & Hove and Metrobus area the below organisations are also involved in the scheme:

For more information on our Helping Hand Scheme, in the Brighton & Hove and Metrobus area, please call our customer services team on 01273 886200.

Phone lines are open:

Mondays - Fridays ~ 7am - 7pm

Saturdays ~ 8:30am - 5:30pm

Sundays and Bank Holidays ~ 9:30am - 4:30pm

Alternatively you can also visit our FAQ's.

night bus map